Who needs food anyway?

Um… I do!  I’ve struggled with my weight since I was 8 years old.  I don’t know what happened but that year everyone in my family ballooned.  The thing is I never really deflated, at least not until my early 20s.

I was an awkward chubby kid.  In high school I usually spent lunch period in the library reading, eating nothing but a pack of crackers.  I was still overweight though.  My senior year I started Slim Fast and dropped 20 lbs.  Then I joined Weight Watchers and the YMCA with a co-worker.  Once the weight stalled on Weight Watchers I started a 40/40/20 macro split, but I continued to work out at least five times a week for two to three hours a day.  I lost a lot of weight, I was the skinniest and lightest I had ever been.

Then I guess life happened.  The weight started to creep back on.  I was miserable spending so much time in the gym.  I wanted to puke just thinking about eating grilled chicken with green beans or egg whites with turkey bacon and fat free cheese.  I couldn’t do it anymore.

So I gained all that weight back, plus a little more.  Lost some of it again, but then gained more, and more.

Here I am, at the heaviest I’ve ever been and I don’t even know how I got so powerless when it comes to food.  I know I have a completely unhealthy relationship with food.  I know I have no willpower, I know I can’t do it on my own.

I need structure, I need support.

I work in the healthcare field and the last priority I have is my health.  Thankfully they offer awesome benefits.  One of those benefits is a medically supervised weight loss program, and I’m not talking about Weight Watchers.

I signed up for an informational session online, because I don’t like people, and I certainly would rather do just about anything online.  Once I completed the information session I talked to my husband about it and decided to go for it.  There was a three month waiting list just for a consultation.  Holy hells.

The program by the way – Optifast.  Which means a minimum of 12 weeks – THREE MONTHS of nothing but a liquid protein diet.  Holy hells.  Do you know what I did during that three month waiting period before my first appointment?  I mourned food.  I ate everything in site, in ridiculous amounts because I knew I wouldn’t be able to much longer.  I ate a two whole bags of halloween candy.  I ate laffy taffy and brownie brittle until I was nauseated… and I gained more weight.  Surprise right?

My first appointment was exciting, overwhelming, and depressing.  I had gained so much weight (and so quickly as of late) that I have all kinds of new angry purple stretch marks.  I get skin rashes in places one shouldn’t have to worry about skin rashes.  I can’t bend over to tie my shoes without having to hold my breath.  My husband can’t sleep in the same room with me because my snoring is so loud – and those are just a few of the depressing things.

I decided that I would start the program the next day.  I went to the nutrition shop and bought a week’s worth of food and only slightly panicked at the price tag *gulp*.

Day 1 wasn’t terrible.  The shakes didn’t taste bad, the soup was better than I expected and I got my 64+ oz of water in before noon with no problems.  I was slightly irritable, but not bad.  Then that evening with my last shake I started getting a headache and felt nauseated.  I wound up going to bed by 9pm.

I get migraines pretty frequently and I was concerned that this program would not bode well for my head.  I think cutting out caffeine cold turkey was more likely the culprit but.. we’ll see.

Day 2 was harder.  I was HANGRY.  I was irritable.  I sat through a meeting at work envisioning punching most people in the face.  I couldn’t trust myself to speak up much – no filter at all.  By my afternoon snack, or my fourth meal I couldn’t stomach the thought of a shake.  By the time dinner came around I wasn’t feeling any better.  I had a horrific headache, was still burping up the chicken soup from lunch and was afraid I’d puke any moment.  I took some headache medicine and an anti-nausea med and laid down.  After that I started to feel considerably better (my pain meds have caffeine in them by the way).  However, I still couldn’t stomach a dinner shake.  I rode with the hubs to Sheetz so he could grab a sandwich and I grabbed a diet soda and two flavors of gum.

I’ve never been a big gum chewer, but I certainly see that changing immediately.  Instead of a shake I wound up chewing a piece of sweet orange sugar free gum that was the best tasting thing I could remember putting in my mouth and a cup of coffee.

Day 3 and it’s just getting worse.  I actually gagged at the smell of my soup at lunch.  The soup doesn’t taste bad at all, and it smells really good… normally.  I choked it down and chased it with a diet cherry soda, which caused all sorts of interesting belching phenomenon.  I did finally get my fourth shake down at dinner time, so that’s better than yesterday.  Maybe today things will start to turn around.

Awesome part – it’s day 3 and my clothes fit better already.  I may be waking up in the middle of the night because my stomach is growling, but at least I’ve got that.

The crazy part is the mental challenge.  For the most part, I really haven’t been physically hungry.  I just want food.  I want delicious food that’s advertised everywhere you look.  I want the comfort from food, the feeling of being full.

I think it’s time for another piece of gum…



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